We didn’t need to go into the sweetshop and have all those chocolate bars – we just needed Mars Bars and Snickers…

_img71671I’ve been sat out in the breezy sunshine, ambling contentedly through the John le Mesurier biography, when a small voice from somewhere within (slightly off-centre, it has to be said) prompted me to come up to the computer and do a little more sharing.

“Open your heart to the good PP readers…” it said.

Do you really think that’s wise?


Actually I’ve been meaning to post something about this for a while, because I’ve had this pretty much on continuously in the car for the last couple of weeks. Missed them completely at the time, but Beak> have been around as a unit for a couple of years now and centre on the elusive talents of Geoff Barrow.

There’s no obvious resemblance, however, between the motorik charms of Beak> and Barrow’s more legendary achievements with Portishead. I did love the Portishead records with all their distraught gothic brilliance, but they do seem rather “of a time” these days.

This Beak> stuff though, (I’m already fed up of typing that silly “>” symbol), is a whole new thing, eventhough its touchstone is far more fixed in a particular age and genre. Turns out, Barrow is a big fan of Neu and the krautrock records of the seventies, not just the sound but the whole ethos of the time:

Actually this clip makes it clear that Beak> are not just a Geoff Barrow side-project, but a functioning unit of their own, and I reckon there’s plenty more to come from it. There are two records out as it stands – “Beak>” and “>>” – both of which are terrific – full of insistent, agricultural bass lines, searing synthetics and mumbled scarcely-coherent vocals. And now I really have the taste for this…

Would love to see this lot in the flesh…